Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Storytelling Road Trip: From Philippi to Marlinton

Thursday morning saw us back on the road again. Here's the map for this day's travel:



One thing I was looking forward to was seeing the Philippi bridge again.  This unique, two-lane structure is of some historic importance in the Civil War with claims that this small mountain town was the site of the first land battle. I won't take sides in the argument over that claim--my interest in the bridge is its simple beauty. Sadly, it is under repair so we could not drive across it. According to what I have learned, the bridge will be closed for over a year. Ah me. But repairs will keep it safe for many years and that's important.


An interesting doorway in an abandoned building in town caught my attention this trip. You can read more about Philippi in the blog post I wrote a few years ago. It's truly an interesting place to visit.


The Upshur County Courthouse: imposing indeed!


I have no photos from the storytelling in this small, busy town's library. I forgot to give my camera to my #1 roadie! It was a fine time, with a very good crowd of listeners for the Jack tales. I am still loving telling these stories and am varying up the selection at each place, so the program is fresh and new every time.

I also have no photos from the next stop for this day at the Lost Creek library. I'm slipping! I've been to this little library every summer for four or five years and it's always a pleasure. Lost Creek (actually the Southern Area Library) won the American Library Association's Best Small Library Award in 2013, a high honor and a deserving one.

And then it was back on the road to the last stop for this busy day: Marlinton, West Virginia and the Allegheny Echoes Music and Creative Writing Workshops in the mountains of beautiful Pocahontas county.

Our trip to the friend's cabin where we were staying for a couple of days took us across this beautiful bridge:


Sadly, this bridge will be torn down this week. a new low concrete bridge is replacing it and I am so sad about that. I wonder why it could not have been repaired like the Philippi bridge? It was built in 1908 and has surely seen its share of history. The new bridge will never have so much character.

The view looking down the Greenbrier River from the bridge. If you look closely you can see the doe hiding in the grass on the right:


There she is!


And then the trail to the cabin, to unpack before leaving for the evening's concert:


And the skies gave us a welcoming show as we drove back into town.



Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Storytelling Road Trip: On the Way to Philippi


I loved telling stories in this small but vibrant library that is under the guidance of a young new director. We left New Cumberland reluctantly; I seldom get this far north in West Virginia and there was much more to see, like the Homer Laughlin china factory where Fiesta dinnerware is made. But it was getting late and we needed to make tracks for our motel in central West Virginia so we'd be close to the next day's performance site at the Philippi, WV library, as part of their ARTZ Festival.

The drive took us through a corner of Pennsylvania, fairly close to Pittsburgh. Here's a rough sketch of this day's journey:



Such contrasts: from driving literally right through industrial plants in Weirton, on West Virginia Route 2,



to the rolling, serene hills of rural Pennsylvania:





Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Storytelling Road Trip: New Cumberland, West Virginia

It has been an amazing week. From storytelling to travel to a quiet cabin on the banks of a river, it has been a week of contrasts, of beauty and fun, conversations, laughter and a few tears.

On our way to New Cumberland, WV on Wednesday we spotted someone strange on the side of the road, so of course I had to introduce myself.


Metal sculptures of a particularly fine and weird kind! We stopped after the show to take these photos and discovered they were created by a man named Ken, whose daughter I had just met--she was a volunteer at the library. She was happy to let us get up close with these great pieces of her father's imagination.

Isn't he awesome?


A little creepy, I admit, but what an amazing work of art!

Larry kinda liked this hairy guy:


There were lots of others:





A peek inside the robot to see who's running the show:




Fun stuff! And the kind of thing I love to find along the storytelling trail.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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